Goodreads Blog

Library Week: The Goodreads Hack to Find a Book at Your Library

Posted by Cybil on April 13, 2017


It's National Library Week, and like all book worms we love to get lost in the stacks and to get the opinions of smart librarians. We also know that being a book lover can mean getting pretty resourceful when it comes to reserving books at the library.

So, yep, we have a hack for that: In addition to providing links to different retailers on a book's page (just below the book details section), there's a THIRD button there as well called called "Libraries." That's where you can add your local library link! Sidenote: If you have your optional Kindle ebooks button here, your Libraries button will be the fourth button you see.

Here's how:

1) Go to your Account Settings.

2) Click on the Book Links tab.

3) Search to see if your library is already in the system by looking at the "Popular Links" list on the right. (Hint: if the list is not showing alphabetically, first select sort by popularity, and then toggle back to sort alphabetically.)

4) If your library is in the system, click the "add" button and you will see it appear at the bottom of the "Customize My Links" list on the left. Use the arrow buttons to move it to the top of the list.

5) On the book page, the Libraries button will now say "Links." Click on that and you'll see your library system in the drop-down menu.


If your library isn't listed, you can add it in yourself. From the Book links tab, click on add a new link. Fill in the fields on the next page, as instructed, and click on 'Create Book Link' at the bottom of the page. Then contact our support team at support@goodreads.com so they can approve it for you.

If you have any problems with this, we have a team who can help you. Simply email Goodreads Support at support@goodreads.com and include the link to the library.



Goodreads is also a great online home for public libraries. Some libraries have set up standard user profiles, where they post reviews and add books to their online shelves. The Los Angeles Public Library Reads, the Aurora, Illinois, Public Library, and the Scottsdale, Arizona, Public Library are just a few examples.

Other libraries create public groups to interact with patrons. Groups make it easy for libraries to share reading recommendations while keeping each participant's individual reviews and ratings. The Manchester, Michigan, District Library Book Club is a good example of how libraries are using public groups.

(Top image: A sectional view of the New York Public Library. Credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Check out more recent blogs:
Try The 'Reading Without Walls' Challenge This Month
The Top World War I Books on Goodreads
The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here


Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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message 1: by Janice (new)

Janice Bolick Sound great. I depend on both Goodreads, and bibliocommons.com for display ideas, at my local library, where I've worked for almost 31 years.


message 2: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Sounds pretty great! I will have to shoot that email over to add mine.


Kirsten never has enough time Sadly, my local library system's search does not seem compatible with this :(


message 4: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Cronin This is a nifty feature. I can't locate "book links tab" on my account settings page. 2 libraries are correctly linked to my novel. I want to add The Santa Monica Public Library (zip 90405) which was the first to add my book to their catalog. Please advise.The Gift Counselor


message 5: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Sheila wrote: "This is a nifty feature. I can't locate "book links tab" on my account settings page. 2 libraries are correctly linked to my novel. I want to add The Santa Monica Public Library (zip 90405) which w..."

"If your library isn't listed, we have a team who can help you. Simply email Goodreads Support at support@goodreads.com and include the link to the library."


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Kirsten wrote: "Sadly, my local library system's search does not seem compatible with this :("

Weirdly, it only half-works for my library. I had to make sure I was searching by the correct edition, or else the ISBN that came up wouldn't work. Might need some tweaking to smooth out these issues.


message 7: by Dani (new)

Dani This is a cool feature. I just added Overdrive which is how I get my books from my local library.


message 8: by Gabby (new)

Gabby Rachel wrote: "Kirsten wrote: "Sadly, my local library system's search does not seem compatible with this :("

Weirdly, it only half-works for my library. I had to make sure I was searching by the correct edition..."


This happens to me, too! I find it does it the most with the library I frequent the most, too. And they usually have the book, I just have to search other than through the ISBN that Goodreads uses.


message 9: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Tompkins Whoo Hoo!!!! Found mine! This is an excellent feature, thanks!


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Nice. It dumps me right at the copy of the book in my library's system. This will be a nifty link next time I'm looking for something to read--I won't have to sift through my 'to read' pages and then toggle over to my library, I can just see if there's a link directly there! Nifty! Thanks!


message 11: by Nellie (new)

Nellie Neal This really doesn't work with my library. I had to try to create a link (and I belong to a huge library system) and it will only work with very old catalog.


message 12: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Cronin Elyse: Thanks for the quick reply and info!


message 13: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Or you could get the Library Extension App on Google Chrome. No need to click anything. As soon as you go on Goodreads it will show under the blurb if your library has it or not. If it does you just click and it will take you to the book on your libraries website. Much easier in my opinion and works on other sites.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/de...


message 14: by Ally (new)

Ally Danielle wrote: "Or you could get the Library Extension App on Google Chrome. No need to click anything. As soon as you go on Goodreads it will show under the blurb if your library has it or not. If it does you jus..."

Thank you!! That was so easy :)


message 15: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Looks like my library doens't use the search by ISBN so it doesn't work for me :( I love the idea though!!


message 16: by Susan (last edited Apr 19, 2017 07:44AM) (new)

Susan I SO love this idea - I've already shared the idea with others who are excited too...but my links didn't work, so I emailed support@goodreads.com like you said. I HOPE it works!!

UPDATE - with their support, it works GREAT!


message 17: by Siobhán (new)

Siobhán The provided Overdrive link, which is very popular, appears to not work or to require a non-public search. I just tested it on a book I know I've read from Overdrive and it can't find it.


message 18: by Siobhán (new)

Siobhán Siobhán wrote: "The provided Overdrive link, which is very popular, appears to not work or to require a non-public search. I just tested it on a book I know I've read from Overdrive and it can't find it."

I stand corrected, the New York Public Library search also doesn't work for a book that exists, so it seems like this just isn't a feature that works for the links I need it to.


message 19: by Selena (new)

Selena I can't believe it. Both the little libraries in my area are on goodreads! Makes life so much easier.

Thank you for such a useful link!


message 20: by Terry (new)

Terry Sarah wrote: "Nice. It dumps me right at the copy of the book in my library's system. This will be a nifty link next time I'm looking for something to read--I won't have to sift through my 'to read' pages and..."

My thoughts EXACTLY! Love it, and for Oakville Ontario, it works just fine so far. GREAT feature!


message 21: by Coral (new)

Coral Yes! This is awesome! My local library is already linked up.


message 22: by Kristen (new)

Kristen LOVE THIS FEATURE!!! As a huge library user, this is a fabulous option in figuring out where to go for a book on my list. The library is always my first check and this will save me time and steps. Thanks Goodreads!! :-)


message 23: by Rachel C. (new)

Rachel C. Really love this idea, but I'm also having a problem with the fact that non-standard ISBNs don't bring up the book in my library system... Have to search by title and author or ISBN13 or click on the correct edition. Excited to see this feature in action once the kinks are worked out!


message 24: by Dũng (new)

Dũng Anh TO great! i'm happy this is reading book. :) i'm reading https://goo.gl/KBQNSZ it. everybody see also


message 25: by Holly (new)

Holly Letson Yay! One of the local library systems is listed - SCLD.
I hope someone will add the Spokane Public Library system as well.


message 26: by Nesrin (new)

Nesrin L. Okay, I am confused....


message 27: by Jemma (new)

Jemma Nicole wrote: "Looks like my library doens't use the search by ISBN so it doesn't work for me :( I love the idea though!!"

Yeah......


message 28: by Mel ☀︎ (new)

Mel ☀︎ This is brilliant!! Took all of 5 minutes to add my small town French library system and it works great!


message 29: by Keanes (new)

Keanes I am a weekly visitor to my neighborhood library. I really like how I can find upcoming books and request them there. I've been able to read newly released books the same week it is on sale. What is especially gratifying is when I see my current and former students searching for books. It tells me there is an endless wealth to reading and great books are to be treasured. Let's all celebrate this week with a Thank You to the local and school librarians. "Readers gonna read."


message 30: by Inak (new)

Inak I only see bookshops, then I looked up library, but it still means library.


message 31: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Danielle wrote: "Or you could get the Library Extension App on Google Chrome. No need to click anything. As soon as you go on Goodreads it will show under the blurb if your library has it or not. If it does you jus..."

The best!


message 32: by Thom (new)

Thom Good new feature, but is title search (or better, title string search) an option? ISBN works for that exact book, but not for other editions.


message 33: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Hansen This looks great! Such a shame that both library systems I use aren't on there. Essex libraries, yes. Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, no. I'll have to see if they are added at any point.


message 34: by Barbora (new)

Barbora It would be awesome but I somehow doubt it includes the Prague metropolitan library. :P


Sydney (Сидни) I will have to see if the local library uses ISBN searches... it would definitely come in handy for some of the older books they have hiding on their shelves. x


message 36: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie This is very cool, but the link for my library (Hamilton East Public Library - http://encore.hepl.lib.in.us) doesn't work. It appears the word 'encore' is not necessary as this is their website: http://hepl.lib.in.us/.


message 37: by Sean (new)

Sean I tried to add three local libraries with no luck. I feel I must be missing something on the instructions. I sent details to the recommended Goodreads help link so perhaps they will iron it out.

I love the idea though!


message 38: by Kat (new)

Kat I absolutely love this! I have not tried it out yet but it seems like it'll be extremely useful. I find it great that Goodreads is expanding their features.


message 39: by Jaime (last edited Apr 15, 2017 03:17PM) (new)

Jaime This is incredibly useful. What an awesome feature. My small-town library system was not listed, but with a quick email to support, my problem was solved and I'm reaping the benefits. Thanks, Goodreads!


message 40: by Jaclyn, Goodreads Expert (new)

Jaclyn Woods If anyone is having trouble with this, please email Goodreads Support at support@goodreads.com and include a link to your library – we have a team of Experts that would be happy to help!


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